The State Office of Information Practices (OIP) has posted on the SCR 192 webpage at oip.hawaii.gov the testimony and meeting recorded on October 4, 2022 regarding draft legislation that seeks to improve government decision-making.
Pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 192 (SCR 192), the draft legislation was developed by a Working Group consisting of representatives from the State and county government sectors as well as the Civil Beat Law Center, Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters. The draft legislation proposes to create a new statutory exception to the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) that would temporarily protect from disclosure the records created during a government agency’s internal decision-making process, but would allow their disclosure after a decision was final or abandoned, unless another UIPA exception to disclosure applies. To arrive at well thought out government decisions, the proposed new exception seeks to encourage honest and frank discussions within an agency without employees having to fear public criticism or ridicule for having fully expressed opinions or unpopular viewpoints of their own or other interest groups. While draft documents could eventually be subject to disclosure, the proposed new exception would allow the redaction of the identities of lower-level employees involved in those records if those persons lack discretionary authority, did not make the decision, and are not under investigation for or engaged in wrongdoing or criminal conduct. The draft legislation would also allow the public to access records in a board packet that are being considered for adoption by a board at an open meeting subject to the Sunshine Law.
OIP thanks the members of the SCR 192 Working Group for their hard work on this matter, as well as the many people who submitted testimony on the draft legislation. The Working Group will consider all testimony and plans to decide upon its final recommendations at its next meeting in November so that its report can be prepared and presented to the Legislature before the 2023 session. For further information, please go to the SCR 192 webpage, or email OIP at [email protected] or call (808) 586-1400. Mahalo.